Banner and I lucked out in dressage with a 28 under our favorite judge. That put us 3rd. Cross country was clean with 8 time penalties. It was our first Intermediate level event. I was not expecting anything like winning! Those jumps are big! banner likes big jumps. JM Durr did a great job coaching me.
Show jumping clinched it as he was the only double clear in the top 3 by .4 of a point!
Just home form 28 day event tour of So. California. Wow what a trip. I got to take Banner and Misty Payne's, Viveka. We hauled 2600 miles.
First we went to Copper Meadows in Ramona to participate in clinics with James and Taren Atkinson and a one day event there. Banner had a stop at the Prelim. coffin and James really helped me work out how to stay with him even when he looks and goes to a half stride distance. Good for us! Taren helped me with Viv in letting her make her own mistakes as she sorts out how to jump everything. She is brave and loves to jump. To stop never occurs to her. :)
Then load camp up and head to Galway for a week. Banner was entered in CCI* but with his coffin practice/ stop, I decided to err on side of easier and drop to reg Prelim Rider Division. We got a nice second place. Banner is jumping very well.
Then back South a short ways to Copper Meadows to hang and wait for Twin Rivers in Paso Robles. Unfortunately James Atkinson who was to be my teacher that week, broke his femur riding a strange horse. It went up and landed on his leg. This will be a slow recovery for him. best wishes to this lovely man and his family.It was pretty quiet around there with him in the hospital. Victor, the workman was good company and I had plenty to do keeping my 2 horses in tip top shape. I noticed a nice OTTB there and ended up buying him. His name is Fox, I may call him "Patient Fox" because he is!
Off to Twin Rivers next. Viv went BN and jumped clear in everything. her dressage relaxation is a work in progress. She is only 4.
Banner got a respectable 5th out of 25 in PR division and best of all I received some lovely comments about my riding from people I really admire. I got to be coached by JM Durr my usual coach and it was perfect. Now we are home and horses are resting. My truck is dead and in shop. I looked at new ones and the payment is terrifying. I'm open for more business for sure. Thanks, Mia
Whew, windy and cold here in Idaho and I am procrastinating packing by blogging.
Banner and Viveka all set to go with papers and new shoes and everything but being clipped. It's too cold. I leave tomorrow and stop in LV. I have been posting on the Viveka Facebook page. She has 4 friends but could use some more. Kinda fun.
Heather McMahan and I traveled to Galway Down Int'l 3 Day event. I entered Banner in the CCI* and elected to have JM Durr catch ride him as I have less experience at that level with recent sticky issues at coffins and water. It was successful as JM and Banner place 11th out of 50 entries in the CCI*. I even got some prize money! They had no jumping faults in xc or stadium and very few time. Banner is a star and jumped very well. I cannot wait to get back in tack and keep going.
My student Heather McMahan brought her mare, Gypsy to contest Novice Rider and got a taste of the bigger events to place a respectable 9th, jumping well and enjoying the 3 star action and spectating at Galway Downs.
I turned 60 and my family came out Clockwise from left Mom,Aunt Priscilla, Marilyn Sword, Susan Carroll, Anna Edsall, Mia, Steve and Jay Carroll took photos!
We had a lovely party at Hop Porter and musicians came.
Here is our new dog Cody. He went with Steve and I to Woodside Prelim Challenge at the end of May. Banner did really well there but for one stop which was totally my fault. We were out of the money then as we had been sitting in 3rd after dressage with 2 judges, standard arena and serious competition. Show jumping went well also, see videos. Then on to Golden Spike in Ogden Utah. and Banner and I held off the second place finisher who also stood on her dressage score. We won and made the xc time just right.
I have 2 students who are competing. They are Heather McMahan and Jennifer Self. They are having fun, riding pretty well and becoming addicted to eventing. I have also been busy with my new band "Mia and the Blue Horses" in addition to playing solo and duos with Johnny Shoes. It's great fun and I'm amazed to have these gents behind me. They are all singers in their own right so it's not all about me out front.
I departed with Banner for Lone Tree Farm near Oakdale, Cal. I decided to leave my precious 8 year old Jack Russell, "Cash" at home with Steve.
I arrived without incident and camped "down by the river" at the farm enjoying the warm weather for a few days while schooling at Lone Tree's xc course with Connie Arthur.
I played music shows at Threelle Production's "Thursday Night Ramble" in Modesto, a Friday night at Most Wanted Winery in Oakdale and Sat. at Queen Bean Coffee in Modesto. The audience in California are graceful and appreciative. I was joined by some great musician friends as well. Thank you gents.
The following week, it got very cold and rainy. News from home was that my dog Cash had been hit by a car and killed. My friend Amy Tryon passed on the same day and I hope they met at the gate, whatever it is.
It was a difficult time for me down by the river, in cold rain and all. I hung onto my ass and got thru it. Thank you to my sympathetic friends at Lone Tree, you are wonderful. And thanks to my facebook friends and all your kind words. Steve and I miss Cash alot.
Ram Tap Horse Trials were next and I was entered in preliminary so not much time to sulk.
I employed my coach JM Durr and he got me pressing to the base of the jumps in an amazing fashion and worked on changing my dressage riding. "Your wiggling hand has GOT to stop."
Banner finished very well and we ended up 4th. I met some new friends there and helped them school xc at Ram Tap which is a good step toward getting the provisionary staus removed form my Level 2 ICP Teaching certificate. (The USEA requires the Level 2 Instructors teach actual competing students at prelim. level.) I enjoyed it alot and they improved.
After Ram Tap it's off to Twin Rivers in Paso Robles. I hire the same coach and am starting to get the hang of his system. My dressage improved by 8 points. An event is the best place for me to get trained because all the tests are there and there is pressure and focus to deal with. Choose someone you trust and get results with. Life's too short to compromise your choice. Do what's best for your horse first, then you.
Photo by Lisa Dunckley
Banner is happy and calm. He is amazing. He didn't put a foot wrong and put lots of money in our confidence bank. He got 2nd at Twin Rivers on a score of 31.
Hi! How are you doing out there? Thanks for reading this.
Today Banner and I rode the "Townsend Loop." It has two long steady climbs and the footing is good for trotting or cantering. The words "bliss" and "harmony" come to mind to describe today's ride. Our time was 30 minutes slower than it usually is. I spent some of it on foot to improve my fitness and coming down the mountain, I was kicking rocks to improve my footwork. Banner expects me to dismount for part of our rides and he plods along behind like the 12 year old WB he is.
I have not been in a Horse Trial since Rebecca T3Day in July. I have been to a local jumper show and we won a 3'9" class! I got to take some jumping lessons with Bob McDonald this fall and it sorted us out well.
We have been doing lots of dressage on the old polo field at Bellevue Farms. It is the best turf footing on the planet. The lot is for sale and bank owned. I'd buy it for the footing if I could.
A few months ago, Banner performed a runaway/ bolt with a plain snaffle, no martingale. He was 3 Day fit at the time but still I do not want him to bolt and ignore the bit. When he bolted, a problem became evident.
My solution was to put the standing martingale back on and do excercises that make it clear what the bit means. I ride him lightly, I insist on it. I use light leg pressure and light hands. We are making progress, he is more submissive and rounder now. It takes time and quiet repetition. Today he was light and obediant out there in a plain snaffle. I love just the journey of listening and learning about training horses whether preparing for competition or not. I must say also that the movie "Buck" influenced me. I have re read both of his books and implemented his philosophy. I especially like keeping the reins between my thumb and forefinger which is the way Jack LeGoff instructed. It loosens my elbows. Buck and Edward Gal say alot of the same things too. My students have been hearing alot about this stuff lately and it seems to help with "harmonious development of horse and rider."
My opinion is that the the natural trainers press to get the saddle on and go as if they were on a ranch. I prefer giving the horses more time before being ridden to be strengthened and confident to ensure that they stay together later on.
Happy November! Dec 21st (winter solstice) is just around the corner. I look forward to spring and going to California to event. I plan to make it so.
Will Banner be more rideable? Will I be able to ride decently at Prelim. Level? Will I make it to Cal.? We shall see.
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